17 October 2018:
Newport, Rhode Island, US:
Modest Abodes

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We have been coming in and out Newport all season, and for many years in the past, and always concentrating on the magnificent “cottages” built by the very wealthy industrialists and financiers of America’s Gilded Age that followed the American Civil War and continued into the early decades of the 20th century.

On this visit, a glorious fall day, we returned to one of the most elegant and meaningful houses in Newtown. Not a cottage, but a house of worship: the Touro Synagogue, the oldest Jewish temple in North America, built in 1763.

It is an extraordinary place, emblematic of the origins of Newport as a place of tolerance for most people, including Jews, Quakers, and other religious denominations who were not always welcome elsewhere in the colonies.

At Touro Synagogue is displayed a copy of George Washington’s famous letter to the congregation, one of the most magnificent pieces of writing and expressions of tolerance by an American president.

He wrote:

“May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig-tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

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